If you’re adding an accessory dwelling in California anytime soon, you’ll need to know about the parking requirements.
New state laws regarding your rights as a California homeowner went into effect this year, making it easier to add an accessory dwelling to your property. Many of the local ordinances that made it difficult to add ADUs have been eliminated.
That includes certain parking limitations.
What’s changed in the parking rules?
Before 2020, municipalities would often place heavy parking requirements on new ADUs. If you couldn’t add the parking the city wanted, you couldn’t add the ADU.
That all changed on January 1, 2020.
Here’s what Section 65852.2 of the amended government code currently says about parking:
- The city can only require one parking space per ADU or per bedroom, whichever is less.
- Parking spaces may be tandem (one space in front of the other) on a driveway.
- Offstreet parking is allowed in setbacks or through tandem parking, except where topography or safety issues make parking in these areas unfeasible.
- If a garage, carport, or covered parking structure is demolished or converted as part of the ADU project, you do not have to replace that parking.
Additionally, the city cannot require you to add to or change the parking on your property if any of the following is true:
- The ADU is within a half mile of public transportation.
- The ADU is in a district that has been deemed architecturally and historically significant.
- The ADU is part of the primary home or an accessory structure.
- On-street parking permits are required but not issued to ADU occupants.
- When a car-share vehicle is located within one block of the ADU.
In January, the Department of Housing and Community Development issued a memorandum outlining these and other changes to California law. You can view the full memorandum here: https://www.hcd.ca.gov/community-development/housing-element/docs/ADU_TA_Memo_Final_01-10-20.pdf
We’ll be highlighting other changes to the law that affect homeowners and accessory dwellings in future emails.
Why is this important?
If you’re adding an accessory dwelling to your property, it’s important to understand your rights. City officials permit many different kinds of projects, and they can’t always keep up with rapidly changing rules.
It helps if you know the laws that pertain to your particular project. If you’re armed with the right knowledge, the city officials will be able to help you faster and make sure you only pay for permits you actually need.
Of course, parking is just a small part of the permitting process. No matter how well you know the rules, it really helps to take it a step further and have an experienced design professional on your side.
With years of local experience and ADU-specific knowledge, New Avenue design professionals are experts at dealing with city permitting offices. We’ve saved some clients thousands of dollars in unnecessary fees and gotten projects green-lit even after the city rejected them. (Here’s one example of how we saved a client $20,000.) When you build with New Avenue, your designer will support you throughout your entire project, not just during the design phase.
To get your questions answered and connect with a design–build team that’s perfect for your project, just tell us when to call.